Sharapova powers into Wimbledon second round
LONDON: Former champion Maria Sharapova powered into the second round at Wimbledon with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over fellow Russian Anna Chakvetadze on Tuesday.
Sharapova, who won the All England Club title in 2004, will play either British wildcard Laura Robson or Germany's Angelique Kerber in the last 64.
In a match moved to Centre Court late in the day, fifth seed Sharapova gave a command performance for the fans who stayed to watch the glamour girl begin her bid for a second triumph in south-west London.
Sharapova has been a firm favourite of crowds here since, aged just 17-years-old, she shocked defending champion Serena Williams to become the third youngest woman to win Wimbledon.
The 24-year-old has finally got back to that kind of form of late after a series of recurring injuries and arrived at Wimbledon up to sixth in the rankings after reaching the French Open semifinals.
Sharapova still dreams of landing another Wimbledon title and Chakvetadze, who had lost six of their seven meetings, never threatened to derail that ambition.
It only took Sharapova three games to secure the first break of the match and she pushed home the lead with another break to take the first set in the blink of an eye.
Chakvetadze, ranked 52nd and who has suffered a series of worrying health scares this season, surrendered another break at the start of the second set before Sharapova briefly wobbled as she double-faulted to gift the break back.
Sharapova quickly regained her composure to break twice more before serving out the match.